Which reflex viewer?

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I recently bought a EBONY RSW45. It takes Graflock/International backs. Can anyone suggest a REFLEX VIEWER for this camera.Will Toyo Bino Reflex viewer Or the Horsemann reflex viewer work? I am open to suggestions of any brand.

Thanks, Raaj

-- Raaj shivarj (rollei8is@yahoo.com), April 26, 2002


Raaj, if you bought that camera for field work, which is probably the case, you don't want to bother with a non folding type of viewer which will fill half the space in your bag. I think you are limited to the two Horseman folding binocular viewers. One is angled and has a mirror, interesting for the image is reversed, although not in both ways, the other is the straight binocular mounted on bellows, very light and takes no space when folded. Unfortunately, these cannot be mounted straight on the Ebony, and as you did not order the camera with the modification made, you will need to send the back to the factory to have them make the adaptation (unless you are or know a handyman and can inspire from the pictures that you'll find in Peter Brown's and James Phillips excellent reviews at:

http://www.ai.sri.com/~luong/photography/lf/cameras/ebony-45s.html and http://www.ai.sri.com/~luong/photography/lf/cameras/ebony/ebony-sv45u-II.html

Another thing to consider is that the Horseman binos are furnished on a hinged frame that serves both for format change and to pivot the viewer out of the way for loupe focussing. The hinged frame is a nice feature of the viewer, unfortunately Ebony will not be able to use that frame, so you will need to discard the viewer each time you want to access the GG and this is not handy at all. There are some users of that combo in the forum. Maybe someone will comment. The impossibility to use that frame and also to insert the Sinar backs (especially the newer non graflock Sinar backs can't be used) are the main flaws of the Ebonies, otherwise excellent on users comments. Maybe Ebony will work out a modification in the future if enough users ask for it.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), April 27, 2002.

I use the Cambo/Calumet reflex viewer, and rather like it. It rotates so that you can look down into it whether you're shooting landscape or portrait.

Paul was right, it does take up a bunch of room in the bag. It's also a hideously expensive piece of plastic...I would encourage you to look for a used one. You can find them on eBay and I'm sure KEH and Midwest get them.

-- Kevin Bourque (skygzr@aol.com), April 27, 2002.

I use the Cambo one; I preferred not to touch the precious ebony wood so I modified the Cambo, adding two little "wings" of aluminium that give to the Cambo the same shape as the Ebony GG protector, so I can mount and stop it as it was the latter. Regards, Diego

-- Diego Rigatti (diego.rigatti@it.eyi.com), April 28, 2002.

Try the Toyo monocular viewer and see if it fits on the Ebony. It is extremely useful and since it is of light rubber, metal and plastic construction it folds out of the way. Since buying it I rarely use a darkcloth anymore.

-- Phil Glass (phi_glass@yahoo.com), April 28, 2002.

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